Approval guidelines

The College of Global Futures uses specific criteria when evaluating internships. Students can refer to the following guidelines to assess whether an opportunity may be suitable, although the CGF Internship Coordinator must ultimately approve all internships before a student will be cleared to register for credit.

  • The internship dates must overlap with an ASU Session C or Session B term. CGF internship credit is offered each spring, summer and fall in both C and B sessions. Consult the ASU Academic Calendar to determine which term best corresponds with internship dates.
  • Internships must be at least 8 weeks in length.
  • Students need to complete a minimum of 135 hours at their internship. This is roughly 9 hours per week for a 15-week internship or 17 hours per week for an 8-week internship. Actual hours per week depend on the internship duration and agreement with a CGF internship supervisor.
  • Internship responsibilities must have a direct and clear connection to the student’s academic degree program. Students will need to demonstrate how degree program knowledge will apply to their internship.
  • Internship organization needs to be a legally established/incorporated and insured business or non-profit (not an uninsured sole proprietorship).
  • Intern is provided with an appropriate workspace and resources required to complete assignments.
  • Regular access to a supervisor who can give the intern feedback, provide orientation and onboarding training and who can dedicate time and resources to the intern. Supervisor must possess expertise directly related to the intern’s responsibilities.
  • The experience will provide exposure to multiple aspects of a professional career field, internship organization or industry. Interns should have a chance to get to know other professionals in related fields, either in the organization or through other structured opportunities.
  • A balanced, structured experience allowing students to engage in substantive long and short-term projects that require skills such as research, analysis, summarizing data, writing, presenting information visually and orally, bench-marking, brainstorming, investigating, planning, organizing, implementing programs and services, problem solving, influencing and persuading, decision making and thinking critically.
  • Minimal –less than 5% – of overall internship responsibilities related to sales, cold-calling or generating business for the internship organization. Minimal routine administrative or clerical work (20% max).
  • Exposure to opportunities that build on academic learning, enhance communication and interpersonal skills and meet key people (sitting in on meetings, site visits, conferences, etc).
  • The opportunity to learn skills that can be applied in a variety of work environments (transferable skills).
  • Internships can be completed in person, hybrid or virtually.
  • Internship host organization must be able to provide a written position description outlining the internship role, responsibilities, learning opportunities.  Organization must be willing to sign off on ASU required documentation (University Internship Agreement).

Excluded practices

We cannot approve the following experiences as internships for CGF credit:

  • We cannot approve unpaid internships at for-profit companies. See below.
  • Experiences which involve door-to-door solicitation/sales or that require students to market goods/services/brands to university students on campus.
  • The purpose of the work cannot be primarily to advance the operations of the employer and cannot be the work that a regular employee would routinely perform. An internship must be primarily a learning experience for the student.
  • Experiences with organizations that have existed for fewer than three years and/or with fewer than three full-time employees (evaluated on a case-by-case basis).
  • Interns are prohibited from working or meeting in an employer’s private residence.
  • Internships with individual consultants, contractors or faculty members. The internship needs to be with an organization, not an individual.
  • Students may not intern for themselves, a family member or relative, a friend, a significant other, a current ASU student or any person that they have a relationship with that may be deemed as a conflict of interest (such as a coach, future in-law or any person who reports directly or indirectly to any of the above).
  • Experiences focused exclusively on manual labor (for example: working on a farm doing the work of weeding, planting, etc.). There must be additional projects and learning opportunities.
  • Internships involving the sale or distribution of medical marijuana. The possession or use of marijuana on ASU’s campus is illegal under state law, the use of marijuana is illegal under federal law and ASU complies with the Drug-Free Schools and Campuses Act.
  • Retroactive credit will not be issued for internships completed in previous terms.

Compensation policy

The College of Global Futures will not approve unpaid internships with for-profit or private companies. The rate of pay must be at least federal, state or local minimum wage. Project/contract work and commission-only positions will not be approved. Housing cannot be the sole form of compensation.

Government and non-profit agencies are not required to pay interns, but are still expected to provide a learning experience that benefits the intern. Care must be taken to ensure that if an internship is unpaid, it falls clearly within the legal guidelines that make it a learning experience and not a job.

In summary, internships must be paid if they are at for-profit or private companies. Internships are not required to be paid if they are with NGO’s, non-profits, educational institutions or government agencies.